The doors of Hemyock Parish Hall opened at 10am on Saturday 24th March for the first Blackdown Hills Repair Cafe and over the next couple of hours more than 50 items were brought in for repair. A team of 14 volunteer repairers were kept busy as vacuum cleaners, computers, radios, various items of furniture, toys and garden tools were restored to working order, bikes were fixed and clothing was mended. 85% of the items brought in were given a new lease of life!
The hall was buzzing as people from the village and surrounding parishes, together with local MP, Neil Parish, chatted with the volunteers and watched while repairs were carried out, then went on to enjoy delicious refreshments prepared by Hemyock WI. Judging from the comments left on feedback forms, the atmosphere was "enthusiastic and very welcoming" with an "excellent variety of fixers with their many skills". As an important part of the Repair Cafe is the sharing of skills,it was encouraging to learn that one person found it "very helpful, will have a go at repairing myself".
With generous funding from Ray Radford's Locality Budget and MDDC Tap Fund, and support from Communities Action Group, Devon and some of the local Parish Councils, the plan is to expand the range of specialist skills in the coming months. So if you have a few hours to spare on a Saturday morning, once in a while, and would like to be part of this exciting new community project (we are one of over 100 Repair Cafes now in the UK), please get in touch. More people with electrical, computing and sewing skills are always needed, and those with a flair for publicity and communications will also be most welcome on the team.
The next Repair Cafe is on Saturday 26th May, same time, same place (though other Parishes are already making noises about organising an event in their own area!). For further information, please contact email@example.com (01823 602908) or visit our Facebook page RepairCafeBlackdowns